Some of college football’s biggest stars believe it is time to organize and create a stronger voice for the players in their sport.
During Sunday’s few hours, dozens of college football players from all five major conferences came together to make a joint statement expressing their desire to play in the 2020 season and sharing their feelings. felt the need to be addressed to ensure a safe and fair environment for the student-athlete moving forward. The unprecedented push for national reunification comes when a turbulent week in college sports bloodshed into another threatens to bring about even more dramatic change.
In a statement released on social media just before midnight Sunday and shared by dozens of college players, the team demanded unified health and safety protocols to deal with The coronavirus pandemic and the intention to establish a college football player association in the future. The statement also says players should have a chance to opt out of the upcoming soccer season and that they must be guaranteed another year whether they play this season or not.
̵1; Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) August 10, 2020
“The great thing is that we’re all on the same page now,” said defense at Stanford Dylan Boles, one of the players who hosted the message on Sunday. “We made history tonight.”
Boles said he got a live message on Twitter at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday PT from Clemson running again Darien Rencher. The two had never spoken before, but Rencher wanted to discuss the solidarity movement of the Pac-12 players in which Boles was involved. Boles is one of the leaders of a group of about 400 players in Pac-12, who released a list of requirements earlier last week and said they plan to sit out and be able to compete if the Conference officials don’t want to meet them and settle. their concern. Players from the Big Ten and other conferences made similar requests afterward, and others showed their support with the hashtag #WeAreUnited on social media throughout the week.
Rencher is one of dozens of college football players – the list includes his candidate teammate Heisman Trophy, midfielder Trevor Lawrence – who shared the hashtag #WeWantToPlay this weekend as admins College football meets to debate the value of the 2020 season. Rencher and others feel that fans and commenters have been unfair to put the #WeWantToPlay team against the #WeAreUnited team, Boles said. . Rencher, Boles and Lawrence chatted briefly during a FaceTime call before deciding to draw in more players from all over the country.
“We talked and agreed that both our goals match,” Boles said. “We all want to play this year. We just want to make sure the players have a say in this.”
The players held a Zoom call within an hour that included players from all the five major congresses. Players on the call included Lawrence, Boles, Rencher, Alabama rerun Najee Harris, Ohio State defender Justin Fields, Oklahoma State rerun Chuba Hubbard, Oregon’s Penei Sewell, Johnny Johnson III, Jevon Holland and Kayvon Thibodeaux, Nick Ford of Utah, State of Washington Dallas Hobbs and Michigan Hunter Reynolds.
Many Pac-12 players were previously connected via the #WeAreUnited team since early July. Reynolds, a subordinate defender for Wolverines, has been connected to a number of other players through an organization he founded earlier this summer called College Athlete Unity. He has helped organize the Big Ten players’ movement for the past few weeks.
“There was a feeling that this was something groundbreaking and something we felt was long overdue,” Reynolds said on Sunday night. “I guess now it’s finally done.”
Boles said the players talked for more than 30 minutes before deciding to give a brief message to share key takeaways from their chats. He said they were unanimous on the topics covered in the statement. He also noted that there was rapid and widespread support in promoting the formation of a player association so that all college athletes – not just football players – had a say during the outing. future decisions.
Reynolds and Boles both say their top priority is to address pandemic concerns as quickly as possible. They said they hope to open up a line of communication with administrators and other officials in college sports, which will eventually result in a player association similar to those that provide for Professional sports athletes have a say in the key decisions of the leagues they play in.
Boles said he hopes a footballer association can act as a portal towards more change to benefit all college athletes in the future. The next step in that process, the players say, will be a meeting with the NCAA and conference leaders.
The players asked Hobbs, a second year defensive midfielder with graphic design experience, to create a graphic for everyone to share on social media. Just before midnight on Sunday, less than four hours after Boles and Rencher first connected, the message was broadcast.
“Social media is so popular right now that it’s easier than ever to unify players,” Reynolds said. “You can connect with people in a matter of seconds, which makes it easy to exchange ideas with each other and assess how people feel in different parts of the country and actually come up with a plan.”
Boles said he believes the pandemic and race fair rallies this summer have created a situation where many players feel the need to speak up. Boles said the Pac-12 group he is a member of met once with federation commissioner Larry Scott. He said that the players can voice their concerns but they have not resolved any of their disagreements. Boles said that Scott and tournament officials were not committed to holding another meeting with the players and declined requests to allow the players to hire and involve legal representatives during the discussion.
Boles said he and other players started organizing their efforts in early July and that Sunday’s rapid growth was the “jewel” of unity they have been trying to achieve.
“Far from coming,” said Boles. “It’s inevitable. It’s just a matter of how fast we can do it. We’re racing against the clock. We all want to play; we just want to get it right. . “